Sunday, June 29, 2008

Free Stuff to do in July

Refer to my previous post where I wrote about free day time movies with the kids, free entrance to the Imagine It! Children’s Museum, Piedmont Park and swimming pools. Here’s some more stuff you can do for free in July:

Centennial Park, Downtown Atlanta

  • July 4 - Children’s activities from noon – 5:00 p.m. include arts and crafts, face painting, performances, inflatables, stilt walkers and more. Free musical entertainment starts at 4:00 p.m. on the Great Lawn, including a performance by the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, followed by fireworks.
  • National Black Arts Festival - July 26 and 27 from 12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Free music by African-American, Caribbean, African, Latin and Hispanic artists. Los Hombres Caliente, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Toots and the Maytals, Roy Ayers, Julie Dexter and Vinx and more are scheduled to perform. There will also be an International Vendor Marketplace, International Food Vendors and children’s programming.
  • Free concerts at the Southern Company Amphitheatre - Every Wednesday from 5:30-8:00pm (except July 16th). Centennial Park often has lunchtime concerts too.
  • Fourth Saturday Family Fun Days – Noon – 4:00 p.m. The fourth Saturday of each month until Fall is geared towards kids. Activities include educational programming, specialty workshops, touring shows, street performers, family-friendly performances, children’s crafts, life-size chess games, appearances by on-air personalities, local sports mascots, contests, prizes and more.

High Museum of Art. 1280 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA
Check out the photographs of the civil rights movement exhibition. Fulton County residents can tour the museum for free on the first Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. If you don’t live in Fulton, the Entertainment Book has a buy-one-get-one-free ticket (usual admission $18 adult, Ages 6-17 $11, 5 and under free, military and group discounts). AAA members get in for $11.95 adult, Ages 6-17 $7.95. If you have toddlers, do some art and crafts during Toddler Thursdays (paintings, mobiles, stained glass lanterns, animal cutouts) from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. in the Greene Family Educational Center (included in museum admission).

Turner Field. 755 Hank Aaron Dr SE, Atlanta. Not free, but almost…Skyline seats go on sale at the Braves Site for $1 three hours before game time. You can take your own food and unopened bottled water and soft drinks in to the stadium to avoid pricey concessions. Parking is $10 per car, but if you take Marta to Five Points, you can catch a free shuttle to the field. Check out the Tooner Field Cartoon Network amusement park inside the stadium (included in price).

Mayfield Dairy. Tour a dairy! 1160 Broadway Avenue, Braselton. Tours are Mon-Fri 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (in Braselton, they don’t make milk on Wednesdays). I hesitated to post this, because to my dismay, they don't hand out free samples (what kind of dairy doesnt hand out free samples?), but I'm told that it's a fun outing for kids and they love the giant statue of the cow in front. Ice cream cones and beverages can be purchased in their store, so I guess for the price of an ice cream cone, you can have an almost free outing.

Attend a Free Concert!
Suwanee Smooth Jazz WJZZ 107.5 Free Concert. 1st Friday of the month – 7: 00 p.m. at the Town Centre Park, Suwanee.

Summer Jazz Series at Villa Christina. Free concerts on Sundays during the summer thru September 21st in the Villa Christina Gardens at Perimeter Summit. Park doors open at 4:00 p.m. and music begins at 5:30 p.m.

Duluth. Free concerts in downtown Duluth on Main Street every Thursday from Noon until 1:30 p.m.

Lawrenceville. Free concerts in downtown Lawrenceville. Family friendly concerts on the Historic Courthouse Lawn at 11:00 a.m. on July 14th (the Bugaboos) and other artists now thru September, at 8:00 p.m., on the fourth Friday of each month.

Norcross. Free concerts in Thrasher Park. First Thursday of each month thru November 6, 2008 from 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Williams Sonoma Cooking Classes. At participating Williams Sonoma stores, you can sign up for an hour-long free cooking technique class (usually on Sundays) taught by culinary experts. This month, you can learn how to make homemade pizza, paella, and learn about summer fruits and vegetables. They also have free demonstrations (usually on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday). This month's topics include pina coladas, getting ready for July 4, summer grilling, marinades, no-knead bread, slow cooking, dutch oven desserts, kitchen tools for kids, pies in a punch, summer salad dressing, appetizers, and more! Call your local store for more details: Mall of Georgia, Buford; Forum, Norcross; Northpoint Mall, Alpharetta; Phillps Plaza, Atlanta; Lenox Square, Atlanta; The Avenue at East Cobb, Marietta; The Avenue at Peachtree City, Peachtree City.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History. 767 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta. If you're a Bank of America cardholder (check, ATM or credit card), you can get in for free on the first weekend of every month. This offer is for cardholders only, so if you and your spouse both have cards, you would both get in for free, but would still have to pay for any children over 3 years old.

FREE Effortless Money for Education

I’ve seen the little blue and yellow Upromise logo over and over again on cereal boxes, beverage cartons and storefront windows but had never taken the time to find out what it’s all about.

It wasn’t until I saw an ad from Upromise offering to put $10 in my account if I signed up before 6/30/08, that my interest was peaked. I knew it had something to do with free money for college, but wasn’t sure what the deal was. Now I realize that I’ve been ignoring free money since the program’s inception in 2001. I've since added Upromise as an affiliate on my blog (my goal is to only add affiliates that provide true value for readers).

Here’s how it works… Sign up for free at Upromise. You then register your credit cards and store cards on the Upromise site and every time you use your cards for eligible purchases at one of over 40,000 merchants (you probably don’t pass a day without presenting your card to at least one of the merchants on the list - grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, etc.), you'll automatically get a percentage of your spending back into your Upromise account that goes towards college expenses such as tuition, books, an eligible 529 college savings plan, or an eligible student loan. You can check back periodically and see how much you much you’ve made!
Even if you don’t have a child yourself, think about how much you can effortlessly contribute to a relative or to a friend’s child. What a great way to give free money to someone you love!

Sign up before 6/30/08 to take advantage of the free $10 promo! By signing up, you'll get free money for yourself and you'll also be supporting my blog.

More FREE Starbucks Coffee

Check your Sunday paper carefully. In the AJC, there's a light blue flyer with a card that you can take to Starbucks every day through July 14 for a free 12oz cup of brewed coffee, hot or iced. Good in Atlanta and Indiana. Not valid at Barnes and Noble Cafe.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Diaper Report

Cash Back for Every Diaper Purchase!

Seriously. It turns out that you can get cash back on baby items, bathing and skin care, dietary supplements, digestive health, nutrition, pain relief and more at The Caregivers Marketplace. The products are primarily aimed at baby-care and elder-care, but they have a long list of items that people of all ages use.

All you need to do is to check out their site and print a list of items that qualify for rebates and send in your receipts with a claim form. They’ll send you a rebate of $1 on each pack of Huggies Diapers, GoodNites, Little Swimmers, Huggies Overnites and Pullups. I wish I had discovered this site a couple of years ago! I looked through some of my receipts and realized that I have recently purchased 5 packs of Huggies and Pullups, so I’m going to get a $5 rebate.

If you’re organized with your receipts (put them in specific envelope each time you shop and make sure you mail them all in before Jan 31, 2009), you’ll get cash back to reward yourself with a little something for enduring all those stinky diaper changes!

How Many Diapers Per Pack?

Are you ever baffled when you see sales for diapers? Jumbos, Mega, Super Mega – yikes! Figuring out if you’re really getting a good deal based on the way diaper manufacturers market their products is enough to make anyone’s head spin, let alone those of us who are shopping with an infant on one arm and a toddler on another. I was in the process of drafting a handy chart, but Angie beat me to it! Check out her 6/15 post and download her chart so you can figure out your per diaper price before you leave the house.

Questions from Readers... Where Can I Get Coupons for Parent's Choice Formula?

Parents Choice Formula is Walmart's generic version of Isomil Advance and ProSobee LIPIL. You can call PBM Nutritionals at 1-800-272-5095 once every 30 days (note it on your calendar) and they will mail you a $3 coupon. The coupons generally take 4-6 weeks to arrive, and even if you have not received a coupon from your first call, you can call to request your next coupon.

Don't forget to pick up your free sample at the Parent's Choice website. It's a 4.3oz bag of powder, good enough for a one-day supply.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Another Free Drink from Starbucks

Want another free beverage? If you’re planning on spending cash at Starbucks, rather than using cash, get a gift card (you can get one as low as $5) and charge your beverage to it. Then visit the Starbucks website before July 14 to register your gift card and within 10 days, Starbucks will mail you a coupon for a free beverage. (I tested this by registering some random card I had lying around that had zero balance on it and it worked).
Update (July 1st) - I received my free coupon in the mail and used it to buy a Venti Chai. My husband used his "free coffee" card that was in the Atlanta Journal Consistution on 6/29, so we both got our drinks for free. Talk about a cheap date! To top that, they took the code off my free coupon and handed it back to me, so I guess we can do this all over again! Lovin' Starbucks right now! I guess with 600 stores closing across the country, they're trying to get us addicted again! The only thing is that with all the free drinks they're handing out, it's becoming inconceivable to me that I'd want to pay ever again!

Questions from readers…Aren’t you sacrificing healthy eating for junk food when you use coupons?

Not at all. That being said, “healthy” is a relative term and it means different things to different people. For example, some people don’t eat meat because they consider it unhealthy. Others see lean meat as a healthy protein. Some stock a wide range of traditional fruits and vegetables at home, while others opt for organic produce. Then there are those of us who diligently try to buy organic and then to save time, we cook those same organic foods on carcinogenic aluminum foil or we nuke the food in the microwave. Go figure.

That being said, I’m often able to combine coupons and sales to get free or low cost organic, natural and healthy items. If you click look at all the free stuff I got in May (June 3rd post) you’ll notice that I combined coupons and sales to get, among other things, free organic yogurt, whole grain pasta and natural cereals. Today, the penny item at Publix was organic oatmeal, and last week it was Greenwise natural toilet paper. So it’s not just about mac n’ cheese, hotdogs and candy. It’s entirely possible to get amazing deals on healthy food. I rarely pay full price for organic milk. Sure, there isn’t an abundance of coupons for fresh produce, but perhaps by saving on other items, you’ll have more money to spend on your favorite healthy produce!

The following manufacturers are currently offering coupons on their sites. Keep in mind that some sites will allow you to print coupons several times. Hitting the back button also helps. Also, just because you print coupons today and reach your maximum printable limit, it doesn’t mean that you can’t go in a few weeks from now and print more (or that you can’t use an alternate computer to print more). I recommend that you sign up for newsletters at your favorite sites so you’re the first to know about special promotions and coupons.

Stonyfield Farm – Coupons for yogurt, milk, smoothies, ice cream
Horizon Organic - $1 off coupons for various dairy
Organic Valley – Coupons for milk, cheese, butter
Mambo Sprouts - Booklet with miscellaneous natural and organic product coupons
Earths Best - Coupons for baby food
Arrowhead Mills – if you send in 3-5 UPCs, they’ll send you either $15 or $25 of OXO kitchen tools
Rosetto - $1 coupon off pasta
Earthbound Farms – coupons for misc. products (7/13 update - I registered on their site for free info. and received two Earthbound Farm coupons for 75c and $1 off lettuce and six 55c coupons for Horizon Organic products.
8th Continent Soy - $1 off coupon for soymilk
Seventh Generation – coupons for diapers, wipes, laundry, cleaning, dishwashing products
Knudsen Juice - $1 off coupon for juice boxes
The Healing Garden – misc. coupons for moisturizer
Organic Prairie – coupons for steak, hotdogs, deli meat, other
Coleman Naturals – coupons for meat
Misc. products – dairy, skincare, gourmet, homeopathic coupons

As you can see, organic merchants offer a variety of coupons on their websites. I’ll continue to post new sites for coupons as I hear about them. If you know of any that aren't listed here, let me know!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What I got for Free in May

I talk to people all the time about combining coupons and store sales and some say “I don’t have time for that.”

Well how long would it take you to earn $400? Think about it. That is like taking a second full time job at Starbucks at $10 an hour. $402.71. That's how much free stuff I picked up in May just for spending an hour or so in front of the computer and 10 minutes clipping coupons each week. The items I got are in the photo below:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Free Stuff to do in June

Free Movies - Daytime
Kids got cabin fever? Take them out to a free movie (just don’t get taken at the concession stand!) The Regal Entertainment Group’s Free Family Film Festival starts this week ( . The festival features nine weeks of movies and titles include the Bee Movie, Happy Feet, March of the Penguins, Arctic Tale, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Shrek the Third and more. Movies start at 10:00am on Tuesdays and Thursdays and are on a first come, first serve basis. Regal has movie theatres in Alpharetta, Austell, Buford, Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw, Macon, Newnan and Snellville. Thanks Christel for the reminder!

Free Movies – Nighttime
Pack a picnic and head to Centennial Olympic Park’s 2008 Screen on the Green to watch a free movie under the stars. All movies are shown after sunset (approx. 6:00 pm) on a huge 45x24 foot screen. June 5 – Big Momma’s House; June 12 – Chicago; June 19 - E.T.; June 26 – Footloose. The fountains at Centennial Olympic Park are open too!

Free Donuts
Watch the donuts being made at Krispy Kreme and grab a free one on June 6 – National Donut Day (seriously, there’s a National Donut Day!)

Free Educational Fun
LOVE this place! It’s generally pricey for a family of four, but free timed tickets are available at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta on a first come first served basis and are distributed outside the Museum (the line forms on Baker Street along the sidewalk going towards Williams Street) starting at 1:00 pm during each Target Free Second Tuesday. The Museum closes at 7:00 pm. All children must be accompanied by an adult and all adults must be accompanied by a child. The line generally starts at around 12:30pm and the first 600 people usually have no problem getting in. If you don’t like crowds or don’t want to stand in line, the Entertainment Book has a buy-one-get-one-free coupon ($11 reg. admission, children under 2 free). You’ll use the book over and over again for many “buy one get one free” places around town.

Free People Watching, Music
One of the best free days out in Atlanta! At this beautiful park, you can browse the farmer’s market, listen to some music, have a picnic, jog, walk, people-watch, take a class, do a tour. The farmers market is held every Saturday morning from May 3-Dec 13 9:00am-1:00pm at the 12th Street entrance. Check out locally grown produce, artisan cheeses, fresh cut flowers, natural merchandise and the stage near the Visitor Center in Piedmont Park for entertainment from local musicians. On June 28 at 12:00pm there is a free do it yourself class on learning how to use old or recycled newspaper to make paper for around your home.

Almost Free - Swimming
Check out your county’s local pools. Our city has some great pools with cool water features. Head down to the pool one hour before close and many pools are half price (check with your local pool) – the water is warm and you don’t have to be the bad guy for telling the kids it’s time to go home – someone else at the pool will do it for you.

If you know of other free stuff going on, let me know!